Federal agencies Trucking Transportation

FMCSA clarifies ‘medical treatment’ for accident register determination

xray of hand
Photo: LYagovy/iStockphoto

Washington — An X-ray exam is a diagnostic procedure and should no longer be classified as “medical treatment” when determining if a crash needs to be included in a motor carrier’s accident register, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration states in revised regulatory guidance.

Published in the Feb. 25 Federal Register, the revision comes in response to a petition requesting that FMCSA follow OSHA’s definition of “medical treatment,” which excludes diagnostic procedures such as X-rays and blood tests.


Under 49 CFR 390.15(b), motor carriers must keep an accident register for three years after the date of each crash.

FMCSA defines an “accident” as “an occurrence involving a commercial motor vehicle operating on a highway in interstate or intrastate commerce” resulting in:

  • A fatality.
  • Bodily injury to a person who, as a result of the injury, immediately receives medical treatment away from the scene of the crash.
  • One or more motor vehicles incurring disabling damage as a result of the crash, requiring the motor vehicle(s) to be transported away from the scene by a tow truck or other motor vehicle.

The guidance is effective until Feb. 25, 2027.

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